Welcome to Male Mind — The interview series featuring a different man's take on love-life topics every month. From dropping the right cues to making the first move, Evyenia Trembois gets the inside story straight from the source.
E: How old is your girlfriend?
A: She is 29
E: Do you feel like being close in age has positively (or negatively) affected your relationship, if at all?
A: If anything, I would say it has a positive impact because we’re at the same phase in our lives.
E: How did you meet?
A: We met through mutual friends. We both went to UCI, and met at one of our mutual friend’s birthday parties.
E. Prior to meeting her, where do you feel you found the most success in dating?
A: We actually just started dating right after Tinder came out so I didn’t have that much experience with Tinder or with any of the online dating apps at the time. I had used Tinder for about a month, and went on a few dates, but not with anyone I would consider a serious relationship with.
E: And before that, where were you meeting people?
A: Really, it was mainly through school, mutual friends, and at bars.
E: Where would you say most of your peers and close friends are at, in terms of their own relationship status?
A: I would say it’s split up into two groups. You have people that have been in relationships that are on the verge of getting married, and then you have others that are just dating around, using dating apps.
"I feel like that group is constantly looking for that 'right' person, and the more dating apps they sign up for, the more complicated it gets."
So there’s one group of serial daters, and another group of people who are in serious relationships and/or married.
E: Do you feel like the people around you in the same age bracket, are in a place where they are ready to settle down in the next few years?
A: This past year, most people who were in serious relationships have been making that step. Had we had this interview last year, I probably wouldn’t have said that, but now a lot of my close friends have proposed and are getting married.
E: I find that in big cities like LA, NY, SF, more and more people tend to put off serious relationships and marriage for later.
...do you feel like because you live in Orange County it’s a little different, or do you feel like the single half of your friends are in that same boat?
A: I definitely see that a few of my friends could fall into that 'big city mentality' category, granted it's likely not as high as in the bigger cities.
E: The reason I hear most often is that they are chasing their careers, and just don’t know how to balance both relationship and career aspirations, but I see you [in a serious relationship] and I know that you are ambitious and driven…
A: Yeah, and that’s something that was holding me back. It’s really tough to describe but it’s something that held me back...basically [needing to] realize that your relationship, and your career, are two independent things. They’re not tied together. So regardless of whether your married, or dating...you can still strive to achieve whatever you want in your career.
"You don’t need to be single, just to be successful. Granted, you do need to balance your time better, but it’s doable."
E: That’s so refreshing to hear. It’s just a mature and evolved way of thinking. What do you think helped you gain that perspective?
A: It all depends on who you’re with — if you have a shared desire to balance everything out. Part of it is simply communicating with the person you’re with, and letting them know that they are a top priority, but so is chasing your individual goals, career and achieving a secure future.
E: Tell me a little bit about what attracted you to your girlfriend, and made you want to pursue a relationship with her.
A: This is going to sound cliche, but Bri is a genuinely amazing person. I think what drew me in is just how much she cares about me, my family, and all different aspects of my life. Any time my nieces or nephews have sporting events, she insists on going with me, regardless of [whether or not it’s convenient for her]. She came with me to Bakersfield to watch my nephew play, and we had to wake up at 5am. She’s committed to our relationship. She’s a very loving person that prioritizes others. She’s not selfish.
E: Do you feel like you give back in the same way, or do you feel that the key to your relationship is having a significant other who can prioritize the relationship where you cannot?
A: It’s a mutual love and appreciation of one another, and we’re both unselfish people. We look out for each other and put the other person first.
E: What would you say to single women out there dating, looking for a partner?
"Communication is key, and going into it, both parties should have a general understanding of where they’re trying to go."
E: Any tips for women wanting to successfully communicate with a male partner?
A: Ask the right questions. Maybe avoid being [overly] direct with those questions [especially if you've just began dating], but asking them in a way that helps you gauge where the guy is at, and what his intentions are.
E: Sounds like we need to be a bit gentle in the way that we approach things with a guy.
A: Yeah. That’s a good way of putting it.
E: Men are fragile!
A: I wouldn’t go that far, but... (Laughs).
For help asking leading questions on a date, don't miss: Matchmaker Says: Let's Give Em' Something to Talk About.